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Afghanistan earthquake: Taliban asks for help, rescuers rush to aid


Kabul, Afghanistan

A powerful earthquake struck a rural, mountainous region of eastern Afghanistan early Wednesday, killing 1,000 people and injuring 1,500 more in one of the deadliest quakes in decades, the state-run news agency reported. Officials warned that the already grim toll may still rise.

Information remained scarce on the magnitude 6.1 earthquake near the Pakistani border, but quakes of that strength can cause serious damage in an area where homes and other buildings are poorly constructed and landslides are common. Experts put the depth at just 10 kilometers (6 miles) – another factor that could lead to severe destruction.

The disaster posed a major test for the Taliban-led government, which seized power last year as the United States planned to pull out from the country and end its longest war, two decades after toppling the same insurgents in the wake of the 9/11 attacks.

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